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Prescription Medications
Prescription medicines approved to help people stop smoking include Chantix® (varenicline) and Zyban® (bupropion SR).
 
Chantix works by binding to nicotine receptors and preventing the normally pleasurable effects of smoking from occurring. It also helps to decrease nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
 
Zyban contains bupropion, which is an antidepressant medication. It works on two brain chemicals, dopamine and norepinephrine. Zyban helps people quit smoking and may also help reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
 
Many people take Wellbutrin SR® instead of Zyban for smoking cessation. Wellbutrin SR contains the same active ingredient as Zyban, but may be covered by insurance (see Wellbutrin to Quit Smoking for more information). Other forms of bupropion, such as short-acting Wellbutrin® or long-acting Wellbutrin XL® or Aplenzin™ are also used "off-label" for smoking cessation.
 
Nonmedication Treatment
Several nonmedication treatment options are available to help people stop smoking. These strategies can be used in combination with nicotine replacement therapy or medications. In fact, using more than one treatment approach can increase your likelihood of successfully quitting smoking for good.
 
Behavioral therapy can help you identify triggers that make you want to smoke a cigarette and teach you coping skills to overcome your smoking habits. Individual smoking-cessation counseling and support groups may also be helpful. Various Web sites and hotlines are also available to offer advice and support. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about nonmedication smoking-cessation treatments.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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